APWH 24: New Worlds

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conquistadores
Spanish for conquerors. Men who traveled extensively through the Americas, leading small armies of men, and who established themselves as imperial rulers.
Hernan Cortes
Conquistador best known for conquering the Aztecs through guile, leadership, technology, and disease.
Montezuma
Leader of the Aztecs until the Spanish defeat.
peninsulares
The highest social class in Latin America, consisting of caucasians born in Spain.
mestizo
Mixed-race - those who were descendants of both indigenous Americans and Spanish settlers.
codices
Maya religious texts made of long strips of paper, folded into a smaller unit. These were summarily destroyed by Spanish priests - only four remain.
Treaty of Tordesillas
Papal treaty between Spain and Portugal dividing the New World via a north-south line.
mulatto
A person with both white and black ancestors.
encomienda
A grant of authority over a population of Amerindians in the Spanish colonies. It provided the grant holder with a supply of cheap labor, in exchange the grant holder was supposed to look after the welfare and salvation of the natives.
mita
Incan labor system later adopted by the Spanish (particularly at Potosi) to staff dangerous or unpleasant jobs. Villages were obliged to send a certain number of their laborers for a certain period each year.
Potosi
The largest silver mine in Peru. The Spanish used mostly native labor to extract large amounts of silver that was then transformed into Pieces of Eight - one of the most world-wide currencies in history.
hacienda system
System where Spanish aristocrats controlled plantations on the best land, usually surrounded by others with lesser holdings. These were fairly self-sufficient.
indentured servitude
When someone traded passage to the New World for their freedom, usually for a set period of time.
Captain James Cook
British explorer who charted many Polynesian islands and the eastern Australian coast before dying in a trade dispute with native Hawaiians.